Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rent/Lease Agreements Coming to El Pueblo Soon

After 14 years without an agreement, today the City Council voted unanimously to approve our plan on a concession agreement with about 60 El Pueblo merchants. Today’s compromise deal comes after more than a year of active negotiations spearheaded by my office, with the help of the Mayor, City Attorney, CLA, CAO and the merchants themselves.

After the El Pueblo GM brought forth a contract in April 2010 that lacked input from the merchants I stepped in as the councilmember representing El Pueblo to include the merchants in the negotiating process. I did this because while I have been one of the strongest advocates for a self-sufficient El Pueblo that is not a burden on the taxpayers, I also believe that the merchants are the heart and soul of El Pueblo, with many families operating stores, kiosks and restaurants there for generations. They are the root of El Pueblo’s success and they deserved to be part of the negotiations.

Today’s compromise represents a 25 percent reduction in rates than those first proposed in April 2010. It also doubles the 2010 lease agreement term from 10 years with a 10-year extension option to 20 years with a 20-year extension option, which will help ensure that El Pueblo’s tradition of family-owned businesses can continue for decades to come.

It will also help El Pueblo operate in the black, and after more than a decade without an agreement, allows the City to be a responsible landlord. After the commission votes on May 12, 2011, it will come back to the City Council for final approval. Congratulations to all who worked so hard to get this deal done.